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SMB tools
Choosing the best small business tools for 2020

How is your small-and-medium-sized business (SMB) currently evaluating and selecting tools to help the company grow and make more money?

It’s something to really dig into, because the tools your company chooses and uses are important. And maybe it seems like a pretty obvious statement, but with often smaller budgets, heavy workloads, and less employees to do similar amounts of work, the tools your company invests in, could make or break the success of the business.

Leonard Callejo, Director of Webex Online Marketing, authored an article on the four best small business tools to use in 2020.

He says, “technology helps level the playing field for small-and-medium-sized businesses, giving the tools to improve productivity and efficiency, manage complex systems, and drive innovation. With so many options, it’s important to carefully consider a tech stack that best aligns with your goals and which can have the biggest impact on your business.”

Callejo walks through marketing automation software, customer relationship management software, project management tools, and communication and collaboration platforms, while highlighting that the tools you choose should lighten your workload and make work easier, not more complex.

Consider reading this article to better understand the importance of each of these small business tools and how they can help you, without breaking your budget.

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One decade is coming to a close and 2020 brings in a new year and new opportunities
The future of work isn’t coming, it’s here

One decade is coming to a close and 2020 brings in a new year and new opportunities. In this busy season of holiday parties, copious amounts of shopping, and wrapping up end-of-year projects, people are also beginning to think about new resolutions and new ways to reset and reorient themselves for what this next year has in store.

At Cisco Webex, we’re doing this as well. The phrase, “Future of Work,” has been buzzing for a bit of time, but it’s time to move this from hype to reality and we’re ready. In fact, we’re already there. As we think about this coming year, and as we set goals for what we want to do as a company, now is the time to turn the “Future of Work” into today and seize the opportunities it presents to us.

In an article in Boss Magazine, Cory Treffiletti, Global Head of Marketing for Webex.com at Cisco refreshingly cuts through the sea of buzzwords related to this topic and highlights a few truly impactful trends that are driving this change in the workplace.

He calls out,

“While technology of the recent past has made businesses more productive and efficient, it tended to hamper the true human connection. Think email and even conference calls. The face-to-face interaction was missing. People are starting to realize that a call is far better than email, and a video call, even better. Picking up and reaching out to someone may never be as efficient as typing a message and hitting send, but it is more efficient when you factor in the resulting back and forth that results.”

Let’s consider this: The “Future of Work” is not five years from now, it’s tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. We all have a hand to play in how our businesses will run and what we want them to look like.

Check out Boss Magazine’s article on four trends to keep an eye on in the not so distant “Future of Work.”

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Cisco at SXSW 2019: Cognitive collaboration and the future of work

The Future of Work is Today

Cisco’s Single Platform and Unified App Make a More Human Approach to Transforming your Workplace

 

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Using a video conferencing tool to manage outside vendor communications
Using a video conferencing tool to manage outside vendor communications

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can’t do everything themselves. Business vendors are critical to SMB operations, managing various needs including IT, accounting, marketing, among many other core business requirements.

With vendors taking on such important day-to-day tasks, growing businesses need to keep in steady contact with their external partners to ensure operations run smoothly at all times. Regardless of what you contract vendors for – invoice processing, real-time cybersecurity, search engine optimization strategies, etc. – you likely need to schedule regular meetings to catch up on the latest developments and plan for the future.

Video conferencing tools are particularly useful for vendor communications, as they balance function and reliability with robust security. If you need to manage your outside vendor communications, a video conferencing tool will keep you and your third-party business partners on the same page.

Make the most of your vendor meetings

Depending on the vendor and service, SMBs may have regular standing meetings with their business partners on a weekly or monthly basis. Carving out an hour or even half an hour each week can be extremely difficult for both parties, given their hectic work schedules. Keeping each call on track and as productive as possible is key to getting the most value out of your vendor relationships.

That isn’t always easy when attendees have to deal with an unreliable connection. The latest video conferencing tools are durable and easy to use, so any stakeholder can jump into a meeting with a simple click of an icon. No more wasted time waiting for an important invitee to join the line because they are having trouble with the dial-in PIN. 

A stable video conferencing tool reduces connection issues that drag down the user experience and get in the way of real-time collaboration. Leading video conferencing apps like Cisco Webex allow you to communicate with your vendors through crystal-clear high-definition video.

Screen-sharing features allow attendees to show PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, reports, annotated documents, and anything else you want to walk through with your vendors. There’s no chance of something getting lost in translation because someone can’t see the report being discussed or is having trouble finding the right document. You can also trade presenter roles back and forth to bring in as many different perspectives and assets as you wish.

Build up your vendor relationships

Beyond those productivity benefits, a video conferencing tool also strengthens the connection between your business and your vendors. Communicating over email, instant messaging clients, or over the phone doesn’t have that same immediacy as a face-to-face meeting. While your vendors may be located hundreds or thousands of miles away, you can stay in touch with your account managers and other stakeholders through high-definition video conferencing.

Hold vendor meetings with video chat tools to speak directly with your third-party partners and see every inflection and reaction as you discuss ongoing projects and upcoming initiatives. Body language is an extremely important component to communication, and a video conferencing tool can help you retain that aspect to your vendor comms, even if they’re on the other side of the country — or the world.

Face-to-face communications build familiarity, which helps strengthen your relationships with your vendors. They’re more likely to go the extra mile when they feel like they’ve built a solid rapport with you and your employees. You’re more than just a voice on the phone, because every video conference call feels like an in-person meeting.

Loop in important stakeholders from any location

The growth of digital services means any business can benefit from vendors located virtually anywhere. You’re not limited to service providers in your immediate area any more. The downside to that opportunity is that scheduling meetings around various players in different time zones can feel like you’re banging your head against the wall. 

Maintaining consistent vendor communications becomes even more challenging when your own team members are working out of different locations. Telecommuting continues to gain popularity with growing businesses, with 58% leaning on a combination of in-office staff and remote workers. Even office workers could have flexible work schedules, allowing them to work from home a set number of days each week. 

You can’t be sure that your entire team will be in the office for every important vendor call. You may need to coordinate several different people spread out across the country or on different continents. Video conferencing software removes communication obstacles and allows any employee, project member, or vendor to join a meeting from their preferred location.

The Webex mobile app supports high-quality video calls that can be joined from anywhere, whether it’s a branch office, vendor headquarters, coffee shop, or home office. Everyone from your team and your vendor’s can dive into the meeting using their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other device.

With call-recording capabilities, you can be sure that all important conversations are documented, whether you need to review what was discussed at a later time or share the recording with a key team member who was unable to join.

Protect your business with secure conferencing software

Due to the alarming increase in cybercriminal activity in recent years, every business investment needs to be viewed through the lens of data security. According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, more than half (58%) of all data breach victims are small businesses. When you add up all the damages from a single breach – brand reputation, regulatory fees, remediation expenses, etc, the cost to recover could be enormous. 

Any video conferencing tool should have the latest security measures in place to protect an organization against intrusion and unauthorized access. And at Cisco Webex, our platform has been designed from the ground up around data security best practices

The internal Webex group conducts regular penetration testing to assess the conferencing software’s security and identify any potential vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. That commitment to robust security measures extends to the data center as well, where best-in-class access controls safeguard the Webex platform from both digital and physical threats.

Your vendor communications are in good hands with Cisco Webex, as all media streams are encrypted using the latest and most sophisticated protocols. At-rest data is protected using similar means, using one-way hashing algorithms to safely store passwords and login credentials.

You can also assign users specific roles to prevent unauthorized individuals from launching or joining meetings – either internally or with your vendors. Whatever amount of control you need over user access measures, Webex can provide it.

While all of these security measures keep unwanted individuals out of your systems, networks and applications, they do not impede the core functionality of your video conferencing tool. With  Webex video conferencing, you can enjoy all of the rich features that drive productivity and provide an engaging user experience and rest easy knowing your system is properly secured. You get the best of both worlds.

Managing vendor communications doesn’t have to be a challenge – video conferencing software offers the reliability, functionality, and security you need to effortlessly keep in touch with your most important third-party business partners at all times.

Get started with a  free Cisco Webex plan today.

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Cisco Webex Meetings 39.9: Discovering some video conferencing hacks
3 business communication barriers you can break down with video conferencing
Video conferencing and the generational divide

 

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small business video conferencing
How to set up a business communication system for a small business?

Video conferencing is far from being a disruptive technology, even for small businesses. 

At this point, it’s becoming the office norm as organizations increasingly move on from the traditional voice-only conference call. Businesses have invested in video conferencing and screen sharing software to boost collaboration and communication, as well as improve meeting efficiency. 

But there are questions every company needs to ask before implementing a communication system. This applies whether you’re new to video conferencing or are looking to upgrade from an existing platform. The decision-making has to be deliberate when researching your options, as this is no small project.

Cost is one of the first factors that comes to mind, though you’ll also need to consider feature set, integrations, and maintenance among others. Taking all these variables into account is important to making sure that whatever solution you end up buying enables better productivity and generates a return on investment.

Here’s what to think about when setting up a video conferencing and business communication system for your company.

Cost model

Organizations face a fundamental question from the outset of their search for a business communication system: to build or to buy? The two options are widely divergent: Building means assuming a capital expense (capex) model, while buying a solution leads to an operating expenses (opex) model.

For small businesses, the choice to build is not often available given the investment needed to acquire and build infrastructure. These are the capital expenses that must be planned for in a capex model, as well as others related to updating and maintaining equipment. Conversely, the opex model and “buy” route only require that businesses pay licensing or subscription fees for the solution they buy. Maintenance and infrastructure are responsibilities on the vendor side, meaning small businesses can mitigate their cost exposure.

Building a video conferencing and communication system would also mean hiring highly skilled IT talent. For small businesses, expanding the workforce at such a large and costly rate isn’t a possibility at their current scale. But working with a vendor of a screen sharing and video call platform can net them expert IT services at a cost that’s factored into their licensing or subscription fee.

Implementation and rollout

A business communication system is a critical piece of IT infrastructure, so it’s all the more important that the implementation and rollout are planned for carefully. At a basic level, small businesses must have the IT talent who can run an implementation, or at least partner with a vendor who can take the project management reins of the implementation so business leaders can focus on their work, while still being involved and informed of progress or technical needs.

The rollout to staff is a vital stage of the implementation. The “last mile” concept in package delivery is that no matter how smooth 99% of the process has gone, that last 1% will determine success. If a package has made it through every checkpoint, but the drive from one facility to the customer’s doorstep is delayed, it could negatively impact the entire experience.

The logistics of an implementation are complex, undoubtedly, but the same truth applies. If the rollout is botched, and users can’t realize the value of video conferencing once the solution is live, return on investment may be affected.

Training

To that end, staff training and education is essential to making video conferencing work for your small business. The best screen sharing platforms have robust feature sets; ensuring your employees are familiar with the controls and use cases will set them up to succeed with the solution and run video calls like a pro in no time. 

To achieve that level of enablement, however, business leaders have to take training seriously. A single email with a couple pointers isn’t enough. There need to be in-person sessions in the introductory phase, and then subsequent follow-ups. As to the substance of the training itself, it needs to be engaging and interactive — think quizzes or video tutorials.

Analytics

Businesses need insight into the performance of their video conferencing service, so don’t forget the role of data reporting and analytics when researching software options. Looking at usage rates among the workforce may, for example, reveal lack of video conferencing use by certain departments. Managers can then probe the issue — perhaps the team needed more training — and find a solution.

It’s particularly important to question a vendor on the data reporting they provide. Insights gleaned from patterns in usage data can help businesses make more effective use of their investment, and you’ll want to make sure your vendor can deliver those insights.

There are plenty more considerations for when you’re setting up a business communication system, but the above represents the core factors to address. Cost, implementation planning, training and data reporting are all crucial to businesses during the search for a platform. Looking for a solution to drive this performance and value? Cisco Webex has a reliable screen sharing solution to facilitate better sales calls. Get started with a free plan today.

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Day-to-day activities of successful small business owners
Day-to-day activities of successful small business owners

Successful small business owners do this

If you’re a small business owner, you probably wear a lot of different hats, taking on tasks that would otherwise be handed off to a specific department in a larger organization. However, there are some tasks that every successful entrepreneur sees to on a daily basis. Taking time out of your busy schedule to tackle those tasks will improve productivity, staff morale, and business operations in general.

Dedicate some time to these four day-to-day activities to keep your small business running smoothly:

1.Delegate when necessary

Having built the organization from the ground up, owners of growing businesses have put a lot of stake into the success of their companies. That can lead decision-makers to take on far too much work than they can reasonably handle. Successful small business owners know when to tackle a job themselves and when to delegate that task to an employee.

Delegating work is especially important as the business becomes more complex. At a certain point, it becomes impractical and wasteful for small business owners to continue doing work that could be easily handled by an employee.

Handing off the work that’s done in the trenches gives organizational leaders more time and bandwidth to focus on the big picture: mapping out business strategies and managing overall operations.

2.Update your social networks

Whether your business has a dedicated employee managing your social media accounts or it’s done in an unofficial capacity, business leaders should keep tabs on their social networks. Maintaining a strong social media presence is more important than ever, with 77% of small businesses using these platforms to support sales, customer service, marketing, and other critical needs, according to a 2018 SCORE report.

Spend time each day checking in on every social network your business uses, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Respond to customers who have reached out, share interesting industry news, advertise deals and discounts, and promote any content marketing work you’ve done recently.

If your social media pages are only updated once in a blue moon, they will never gain any real traction with your customers. So, make it a daily habit to take the pulse of your followers and expand your social media presence.

3.Respond to customer feedback

Social networks are just one avenue customers will use to engage with your brand. Online business directories like Yelp, Google My Business, and Yellowpages make it easier than ever for customers to leave feedback for an organization in a very public setting.

It’s important to respond to both positive and negative comments your business receives on these sites. In many cases, potential customers will go to Yelp, Google, or another site to read up on other people’s experiences. Social proof is a powerful force when it comes to purchasing decisions, and if your listings have negative reviews, it could make a prospective customer think twice.

These business directories give organizations the opportunity to respond to reviews and tell their side of the story. So, if a customer leaves a bad review, but they are leaving out some important context to their experience or are misrepresenting events, explaining your view of the situation can set the record straight.

In situations where customer complaints are completely valid, publicly apologizing and taking actionable steps to correct the problem can go a long way toward not just making things right with that individual, but showing potential customers that your business values their experience.

Don’t be too humble about receiving good comments from satisfied customer, either. That’s a good opportunity to reiterate your business’s commitment to making sure every customer walks away happy. It also helps build engagement with returning customers and sow the seeds of brand loyalty.

4.Check in with your employees

Depending on the setup of an organization, business owners may be working right alongside their staff members or entrusting key business processes to contractors or remote employees. Keeping up-to-date on employees you see every day is relatively easy – less so if you have telecommuters contributing to projects and working with a great deal of autonomy.

Make it a point to check in with as many staff members as you can every day to see the progress they’re making on their assignments, and just to take a temperature check on their state of mind. Everyone knows it costs more to replace a lost customer than to retain existing ones – that holds true for employees as well.

A 2017 Employee Benefit News study revealed that replacing an employee can cost as much as 33% of their base salary. So, if a staff member making $45,000 decides to leave the organization, the business will wind up spending roughly $15,000 recruiting and onboarding his or her replacement.

Small business owners can head off the costs of employee turnover – as well as get regular progress updates – by staying in touch with both on-site staff and remote workers on a daily basis. Web conferencing software provides a more personal touch to check-ins, letting both parties see each other’s reactions as if they were talking in person.

Face-to-face communications through video conferencing platforms help create a stronger bond between small business owners and their employees. That will increase employee satisfaction and keep your most valued staff members in the fold.

Try Cisco Webex today and see for yourself how easy it is to keep your teams in sync.

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3 business communication barriers you can break down with video conferencing
Fueling real-time collaboration with a video conference meeting

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Electric Power Research Institute creates a video-first culture with Webex
Electric Power Research Institute creates a video-first culture with Webex

Interview conducted with Matt Corbett, IT/End User Experience Manager at Electric Power Research Institute.


In 1965, 30 million Americans lost electricity in the Great Northeastern Blackout. This crisis left people vulnerable and showed society’s great dependence on 24-7-365 electric service. Because of this blackout, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) was established as an objective, nonprofit organization to conduct research and development in all aspects of power production, delivery and use, for the benefit of the public.

On a daily basis, 1200 employees at their U.S. offices and labs and around the world collaborate in a range of programs  with their peers, member companies, and stakeholders. Effective communication isn’t just important, it’s essential – for establishing and managing research, for reporting results, and for applying new technologies in power systems around the world.

Creating a new culture with video conferencing

We had the opportunity to talk with Matt Corbett, IT/End User Experience Manager at EPRI, about how EPRI is creating a video-first culture to equip employees to communicate — and collaborate — more easily and effectively than ever before.

When Corbett joined EPRI in January 2017 his first goal was to understand how the company was collaborating. Which aspects were working and providing a good experience, and which needed improvement? He spent his first  months  just listening. From this, Corbett put together a transformation strategy, aligned directly to EPRI’s unique needs. Alongside key partnerships with the HR and Facility teams, he was able to secure the executive support he needed, and — most important– establish trust across the organization that proved critical in the success of the transformation ahead.

In a workplace driven by collaboration, the goal was to drive seamless continuity and a flawless user experience. At the heart of the transformation was the need to sever ties with old technologies and habits so that the EPRI team could share ideas and foster further research more readily and effectively .

Corbett determined that hardly anyone was using video frequently or effectively. To address this he brought in new software and hardware, and began modernizing EPRI’s offices, conference rooms and other shared spaces. His team focused on creating comfortable meeting rooms and “huddle spaces,” with easy-to-use conferencing systems.

Creating an intuitive, well-supported experience for  employees was crucial to the strategy. Video conferencing became seamless for individuals on a desktop, individuals or groups in small  conference rooms, or large groups in meeting- and conference-size halls. For all these, a simple push of a button is all that is needed.

As a result, collaboration technology has become more integral to EPRI’s collaborative business model. More people are using video conferencing more often, and its use has moved beyond in-house team meetings.  EPRI is now simulcasting all-hands meetings, bringing its far-flung team together with video conferencing software. By using the systems for interview screenings, EPRI is reducing travel costs. EPRI is using video conferencing to deliver externally-facing training and classes on demand, extending its reach globally.

Best advice to others in his position?

Corbett advises: listen and have an open mind. Don’t approach a situation with a solution already in mind. Ask thoughtful, probing questions. Allow people to express opinions and share their experience. Ultimately you want the team to be excited to adopt a new technology. Also, in your various work spaces, don’t default to the same solution for every room. Regardless of the size or shape, determine which technology and configuration best serves the particular needs – even if that means trying a configuration that is a bit different than the norm. At the end of the day, the technology should fit the way you work, not the other way around.


Interested in Webex and ready to give it a try? Check out our free offer, today.

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Cisco Webex Video Conferencing 39.9 Discovering some meeting hacks
Cisco Webex Meetings 39.9: Discovering some video conferencing hacks

Feature improvements don’t have to be huge to make a big difference. In Webex Meetings 39.9 update, we’re introducing and updating small features that will make your video conferencing meetings easier, more efficient, and (gasp) maybe a little less annoying. These are the meeting hacks of Webex Meetings 39.9:

  • Webex.new
  • Shortened video addresses
  • Fewer video distractions in Events and Meetings
  • Virtual background support for iPad
  • Webex Teams lobby ambassador
  • More support for Web App

A shortcut to your personal meeting room

We introduced Webex.new, letsmeet.new and mymeet.new last month with the launch of Google’s .new domain – shortcuts to common tasks can be accessed from the browser. Webex.new is the new shortcut that takes you directly to your personal room from any browser. Just make sure you’re signed into the Webex Meetings Desktop App, otherwise you’ll be taken to a download page to get the latest app.

Give your dialing finger a break

If you’re using video devices to dial into a Webex video conferencing meeting, you now have less to type because we’ve created shortened, common video addresses that include just the meeting number and Webex extension (e.g., 123456789@webex.com). You no longer need to include the site ID to join (e.g., 123456789@acecloud.webex.com). The new format can be used by Webex devices, Skype for Business users and third-party, standards-based video devices. This is also supported on mobile – both Android and iOS. Please note that this feature is currently in beta and will be generally available by the end of this calendar year.

Better manage Webex Events video

If you’ve hosted a Webex Events or Meetings call, you know sometimes video participants are doing things that are distracting to the meeting. Other than calling them out or privately messaging them, you couldn’t take immediate action. Now, you have the ability to just turn their video off and let the meeting progress more smoothly. Hosts also have ability to lock the main video window on a specific participant and switch between participants without turning off the original participant video. That’s one fewer click and just makes good sense. It also works on mobile.

Choose your virtual background on iPad

We can’t let the iPhone people have all the fun. Now, iPad users joining Webex Meetings can also choose their favorite backgrounds to display from stored photos. This will come in handy when you’re taking meetings from home on your iPad Pro and need to disguise your messy kitchen background with a more professional office look. Blurred backgrounds will continue to be supported.

Choosing a virtual background for your meetings on iPads
Choosing a virtual background for your meetings on iPads

Let them in from Webex Teams

This has happened to me more than a few times – waiting in the lobby long after the meeting has started because the host joined from Webex Teams and has no way to let meeting participants into their personal meeting rooms. Now, Webex Teams hosts will be notified when there are people waiting in their lobby and they can admit them. This feature is in the category of relieving annoyances that I know a lot of people, including me, will appreciate.

More browser support for Web App

In addition to Chrome and Firefox, the Webex Meetings Web App is now fully supported on Microsoft Edge browser with audio, video and share (including high frame rate content) capabilities. On Safari, Web App currently supports computer audio and video (share is not yet available from Apple on Safari). With this, I’m pleased to say that Webex Meetings offers the broadest native web browser support among conferencing vendors.

These are some fun meeting hacks, but we’re delivering a lot more in 39.9. For more details, please visit the Webex Help Portal – What’s New in Webex Meetings Suite (WBS39) – and click on “WBS39.9.”

If you haven’t already, try meetings for free.

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Blog_Woo_Hoo_Online_Classes_1_Year_1200x800
Training when you need it- Webex online classes

Have you ever searched for tips to learn “what’s hot in collaboration?” or “how to get started with Webex?”

Webex Online Classes is our name, and Webex training is our game.

We’ve been teaching people about the AMAZING ways they can collaborate in their workday with Webex video conferencing and team collaboration tools for one full year. Happy Birthday, Webex Online Classes!

Training when you need it- Webex Online Classes

Haven’t joined a Webex Online Class before?
Join us for drop-in, totally free, classes offered for anyone who is looking to get started with Webex, or looking for help training others on Webex. Other top classes include help getting set up technically for the BEST collaboration experience possible, and other role-specific classes to match just what you’re looking for.

Celebrate Webex learning with us.

Join us as we celebrate our first year of Webex Online Classes. This week, we have exciting sessions coming up live like:

Customers Say It Best

We would not have a reason to celebrate without you.  This past year has given us the opportunity to impact the ways people lead collaboration in their business. Check out what a attendee of one of our classes this past year had to say:

“I started a new job in September 2018 that requires me to lead 3-5 Webex meetings a week. Having never hosted a Webex before, I needed to quickly learn the ins and outs of the software. There was no internal training available, so I sought out training through Webex. Participating in Webex Online Classes gave me the confidence I needed to jump right in and lead productive meetings, and it has only gone up from there. Thank you Webex!”

Celebrating an Anniversary Means Growth

The Webex Online Courses Program started out with a handful of courses that focused on an introductory level of the products in the Webex Suite (Teams, Meetings, Events, and Training) offering an average of 3 to 4 sessions a week. Thanks to your feedback on what you want to learn about, the curriculum has grown to over 50 courses with an average of 15 sessions a week for both our end users and our IT site admins.

The classes focus on providing you with a chance to spend time in your Webex product while an instructor guides you through hands-on and engaging activities that let you truly experience how the product can work. For the IT Admin, we have control hub essentials courses that introduce you to the critical elements needed to properly configure your environment for long-term success and scalability. A very recent addition has been our Adoption Master Classes, a series of 12 classes, offering a step by step process that takes you through the proven methods to increase adoption.

Our goal, and what sets us apart, is enabling you to master at the features and functionalities of Webex, with excitement and enthusiasm.

Celebrate All Week Long with Us

Come celebrate with your Webex Online Classes Learning Team as the fun does not stop! Join any Online Classes session this month as we add a little excitement to each class and participate in on the engaging activities focused around celebrating our one-year anniversary. Check out our engaging Webex Online Classes today.

Learn More

  • Check out our Learning Paths and find course recommendations for Webex Teams, Webex Meetings, Webex Events, Webex Training, Webex Adoption Master Classes, and Control Hub Essentials.
  • Missed a class? We have you covered! Our On-Demand Classes are available for you to view anytime anywhere.
  • Register and attend Live Online Classes.

 

Also, if you’re interested in Webex, but haven’t given it a try, sign up for our free video conferencing offer—then check out the classes!

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video conferencing solution that removes communication barriers
3 business communication barriers you can break down with video conferencing

Good communication is essential for any growing business, but all too often, it falls by the wayside. Whether due to personnel failings or technological limitations, many businesses struggle with communications, both internal (between employees) and external (between vendors and/or customers.) Proper staff training is necessary to address the former concern, but the latest video conferencing solutions remove technological communication barriers.

If your staff often runs into trouble clearly communicating with clients, vendors, and each other, then your organization likely faces at least one of the following communication barriers – each of which could be easily removed with a reliable, high-performance video conferencing platform.

1. Miscues and misunderstandings

Employees rely on a number of different platforms to share important information and updates with one another: email, instant messenger, and chat-based apps, to name a few. All are great at providing real-time communication, but can be problematic when discussing complicated problems and projects or attempting to convey nuance to the recipient.

It’s not unusual for messages to get lost in translation when attempting to talk about a complex subject over email or instant messenger. Employees collaborating on a project may misinterpret directions, requiring stakeholders to redo that work and causing delays to other project phases.

In other instances where an email containing next steps is sent to multiple people, it may not be clear who is actually supposed to handle those tasks. Everyone assumes someone else is handling the matter, and nothing gets done.

While some of those cases can be cleared up with a conference call, there is still a risk of project stakeholders receiving the wrong message without a visual component. This is especially likely if callers are reviewing reports, spreadsheets, or other documents over the phone. It’s difficult for everyone on a call to know exactly what is being discussed without a visual aid. 

Video conferencing software gives every participant the ability to follow along as presenters run through project documents in real time. They can interject when they want to give feedback or respond to a particular point. Presenter controls can be passed around so every participant has a chance to present their ideas and annotate shared documents with everyone on the line. It’s easier than ever for teams to communicate with that kind of video conferencing software.

2. Missed non-verbal cues

Another communication issue to be mindful about is body language. When employees are sitting in a conference room together, it’s easy to pick up on non-verbal cues like a smirking smile to indicate sarcasm. A good amount of communication is imparted through more than just our words, and that can be easily lost on audio-only conferences and text-based communication methods.

The latest video conference solutions, meanwhile, offer high-definition video so every participant feels like they are standing in the same room as the presenter. Attendees can see every facial feature, movement, and gesture, so no body language goes unnoticed or gets lost in translation. 

That also helps boost the impact of video conference presentations. Even the most dynamic public speakers will have their messages undercut to some degree if people cannot see them. Reliable, HD video conferencing tools put participants right there in the thick of the action.

3. Out-of-sync teams

Telecommuting is becoming the new norm as the remote workforce grows. According to a 2019 Upwork study, nearly three-quarters (73%) of businesses will have remote workers on staff by 2028. Without proper management and robust communication platforms, it will be difficult for geographically disparate employees to effectively collaborate and communicate with one another.

If remote teams are out of sync and unable to work together on shared projects, the benefits of telecommuting could be undone by the resulting productivity losses. Miscues and communication errors could become the norm, resulting in costly mistakes and delays.

Keeping different teams on the same page, regardless of their location, is far easier with the help of video conferencing software. Employees can collaborate in real time, using screen share features to demonstrate their latest progress and invite meeting participants to update and revise documents while everyone’s on the line. 

Offshore teams are never left out of the loop, either: session recording tools allow users to document the meeting and everything discussed so anyone who was unable to attend can get up to speed in no time.

Technological limitations shouldn’t hold your business back from effectively communicating between coworkers, clients, and vendors. The latest free video conferencing tools offer high-quality performance and powerful features for any organization. Get started with your free Webex plan today to remove your organization’s communication barriers for good.

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Cisco Webex Meetings- Bringing speed and simplicity to video conferencing
Cisco Webex Meetings 39.8 – Bringing speed and simplicity to video conferencing

Webex Meetings 39.8 is one of our most significant updates this year. The key update in this version will make it faster, easier and more intuitive for users – both existing and new – to join a Webex video conferencing meeting. In addition, 39.8 brings a host of features that will help users get more done using the tools they love, and give administrators ways to make managing Webex even easier. Webex Meetings 39.8 enhancements include:

  • Fastest meeting join experience
  • Deeper integration with Slack
  • Set your own virtual background
  • Richer annotation on mobile
  • Advanced diagnostics

 Join Webex faster than ever

In version 39.8, we’ve made huge strides to make the join experience in Webex Meetings easier and faster than ever. It now takes fewer steps and just seconds to get into a meeting—for current and new users alike. The key changes include:

  • The big green button debuts in the meeting invitation, designed to attract your attention for the easiest join experience ever. The meeting template also has a new clean aesthetic and has the same look and feel no matter how you join.
  • The ability to select your audio and video preferences BEFORE you enter the meeting; preferences are saved to the desktop app, so it’s as few as one click the next time you join.
  • For first-time users, the installation process is simple and intuitive; you get the pre- and in-meeting experience within a single download for a rich, full-featured experience – and no admin rights are required.

We hope you enjoy this new and improved Webex Meetings join experience. Please try it out and share your feedback with us.

 Experience the complete Webex Meetings lifecycle within Slack

With enhancements we’re enabling in version 39.8 and a few others introduced in the last couple of Webex Meetings updates, we’ve now fully enabled the entire meeting life cycle within Slack channels. With deeper integration than any other meetings solution, Slack users can:

  • Schedule and see all of your Webex meetings
  • Start and join your Webex meetings
  • Connect your Outlook email calendarto your channel so you get reminders for upcoming meetings
  • Get Webex status alertswhen your meeting has started—and see who is in your meeting
  • If you recorded your meeting, you’ll automatically get a notificationand summary

So, you never have to leave Slack to have a great meeting experience with Webex.

Customize your background in iOS

This next 39.8 feature is one that has been high on our request list. By popular demand, you now have the ability to select a virtual background from two favorite stored backgrounds. This is helpful if you’re trying to cover up the beach or golf course where you’re taking your Webex meeting or if you’re trying to project a more professional environment. If you recall, we had a similar blurred background feature, which will continue to be supported. For now, this is only supported on iOS, but we are working to extend this feature to Android users and to the desktop app. 

Additionally, we are now supporting MacOS Catalina (version 10.15). Please note that in order to run Webex Meetings desktop app on Catalina, you must be on Webex Meetings 39.8.

Richer annotation on mobile

Update 39.8 now brings you rich annotation capabilities while video conferencing on your mobile device.Android users can now start a whiteboard session in Webex Meetings, which brings feature parity with iOS devices. In addition, both iOS and Android users have richer annotating capabilities, including the ability to:

  • Select and move annotations
  • Undo last annotation
  • Move annotation when sharing a whiteboard, content, or screen from your mobile device
  • Mute/unmute your audio while annotating

Advanced diagnostics for Webex Meetings in Control Hub

For administrators, greater insight into the environment of meeting participants can help with problem solving and resource allocation. Through Cisco Webex Control Hub, update 39.8 now gives clear visibility to:

  • How each participant in the meeting joined by video device (the make and model of the hardware) or microphone speaker and camera type
  • How they’re connected (Wi-Fi, Ethernet, cellular)
  • Quality metrics, including resolution, bitrate, frame rate, packet loss, etc., updated every minute

With this rich insight through Control Hub, administrators have useful information at their fingertips to deliver better support and quality of service. With Webex Meetings and Control Hub, we are offering greater feature capability and granularity than any other vendor’s management system.

For more details about Webex Meetings version 39.8, please visit the Webex Help Portal – What’s New in Webex Meetings Suite (WBS39)– and click on “WBS39.8.”


If you haven’t already, try for free today.

 

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Cisco Meeting Server 2.7 Feature Release
Cisco Meeting Server 2.7 Feature Release

Your work days are jam packed, and it is crucial that you have all the collaboration tools and features you need. With the new Cisco Meeting Server 2.7 release, you have two new key features:

  1. Updated online meeting management capabilities
  2. A modernized CMS scheduling experience.

CMS Release 2.7 brings increased meeting management to your on-premises solution with:

  • Pane Placement: Pane placement using Cisco Meeting Management, allows you to choose who goes where in video layouts. With the new pane placement feature, the CMM operator has the ability to hand pick where the participants show up in the meeting layout. For instance, for video conferencing meetings with strict hierarchy, the meeting host can place the most important participant in the top left corner and so on. It locks the participants in a set location for the duration of the meeting.
  • Self-View: The self-view feature allows the presenter to see themselves in the layout, which is great for lectures and emergency response use cases where you want to ensure every site sees exactly the same layout.

TheCisco Meeting Server 2.7 release also modernizes the scheduling experience with CMS:

  • @MeetScheduling with TMS: Office 365 or Google Calendar customers can now leverage Webex Hybrid Calendar Services with TelePresence Management Suite (TMS) for a modernized scheduling experience. When scheduling an online meeting, add the keyword @meet to the location field. Include an on-premises registered video enabled end point for the one-button-to-push, easy join experience. When using @meet, the email invite will include the “how-to-join the meeting” details from any video device, Jabber, WebRTC, or telephone.

The Cisco Meeting Server 2.7 release continues our focus on quality and interoperability with:

  • Skype for Business RDP content quality improvement: Improvements to RDP content sharing enable faster sharing while using less bandwidth for a better meeting experience

For more information about Cisco Meeting Server 2.7 release read the release notes here. For Hybrid Calendar Services see this what’s new page.


Try Webex Meetings for free today.

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Video conferencing and the generational divide
Video conferencing and the generational divide

Throughout the 2010s, one of the biggest trends in economic, cultural, and technological analysis was a focus on what separated the millennial generation from its predecessors. 

Millennials, who were born between the years 1981 and 1996, are one of the largest age groups in U.S. history. According to Pew Research, there were 71 million of them as of July 1, 2016, compared to 74.1 million baby boomers, i.e., people born from 1946 to 1964. Pew also expected millennials to be the largest living generation by 2019, a few years after they had already become the biggest segment of the labor force

Millennial attitudes toward technology in particular have received a lot of attention. A Nielsen survey found that 74% of millennials felt that technology made their lives easier at work, compared to only 31% of Generation X-ers (1965 – 1980) and a mere 18% of boomers. 

Millennials, workplace technology, and the generational divide

That gap is somewhat explainable by the fact that millennials came of age during the formative years of the consumer internet. 

For instance, many were entering middle school when Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows 95 were introducing straightforward web browsing to a mainstream audience. By the time they began their careers, email, the web, and video conferencing were also firmly established in the workplace. They never really knew a pre-digital reality in the workplace. 

Always-on team chat applications such as Webex Teams show how certain technologies can be perceived and used differently across generations, since they’re relatively recent inventions and deliver a distinct experience from other, older forms of collaboration. A co-founder of Butterfly called these apps “the embodiment of the millennial generation’s view on work culture.” They have the potential to affect users differently by generation because they:

  • Are more immediate than email, since it’s generally safe to assume that someone sending a message is online and ready to talk at that exact moment.
  • Can warp the sense of work/life balance – a growing concern among many workers – since they’re available on any internet-connected device. 
  • May make previously important and thoroughly honed skills (e.g., drafting emails or working within other collaboration apps) less relevant.

On the bright side, useful and accessible tools can bring workers together regardless of their generations. A 2018 Pew survey found that although millennials exhibited the highest rates of adoption for tech such as smartphones and social media, boomers and Gen X-ers weren’t far behind, showing how it’s possible to get everyone on the same page. Similarly broad uptake of workplace collaboration technology isn’t out of the question, assuming that the solutions combine high usability and rich functionality.

Can video conferencing in the workplace close the generation gap?

For SMBs with multi-generational workforces, video conferencing offers an especially promising way to unite millennials, Gen X-ers, boomers, and the post-millennial zoomers/Gen Z-ers around one easy-to-use platform. Video conferencing stands apart from other forms of collaboration for several reasons:

It updates a familiar experience

Video calling lets people meet face to face from anywhere. In other words, it’s a new spin on an old form of collaboration that’s common in most workplaces. Participants can see facial expressions and body language as if they were all in the same room.

It provides extra convenience

When technologies create barriers between workers, it’s often because they seem too complicated to use well or don’t deliver a clear advantage over what came before. With video conferencing, the value proposition is clear: It’s much easier to meet with someone over a video link than it would be to coordinate all the travel necessary for an in-person meet-up. 

It supports in-depth yet intuitive collaboration

At the same time, these interactions via video conference don’t sacrifice anything in terms of quality. High-definition video keeps the meeting focused. Plus, features like screen sharing support real-time collaboration that makes it easy for everyone to follow along.

It’s usable from almost any device

Workers across all generations have moved toward multi-device workflows. With Webex, they can unlock the benefits of workplace video calling whether they’re on a PC, phone, tablet, standards-based conferencing system, or in a web browser. Webex is also well-integrated with popular calendaring software and other business software so that it always feels connected to what’s happening across an organization.

Cisco Webex is the perfect place to start with collaborative technology that can bring everyone in the workplace together. Start for free today!

 

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interview with video conferencing
Find the top talent with video conferencing

Is your SMB hiring the best available candidate for every open position? 

While you can’t always get the perfect fit for each role on the first try, organizations can miss out on top talent because of  solvable problems with their hiring processes. 

The possible issues include posting an inaccurate job description (which in turn draws the wrong mix of applicants), struggling to manage large amounts of recruitment data, coordinating interviews, and casting too narrow a geographic net for a position that could probably be performed from almost anywhere. Let’s dig into the second one, as it’s directly addressable by smart use of video conferencing technology.

The missed opportunity to hire remote candidates

Relisting a job in the same location will, predictably, attract a familiar set candidates over and over again. That can be good if you are seeking particular expertise in the local area, but it can also be limiting and costly, especially in the broader context of many employers struggling to hire qualified candidates, surprisingly affecting over half of SMBs in a worldwide survey

In 2018, the Manpower Group found that 45% of employers cited trouble finding candidates with the skills they needed, up from 40% the previous year and the highest rate overall since it began surveying employers in 2006. What was behind this increase? Changes in the labor market, certainly, but also the fact that technology has reshaped, rather than replaced, many in-demand roles. Plus, one-third of employers have not been able to attract enough applicants for their openings.

While some roles really do require a local presence  – for example, a firefighter or police officer working in a specific geographic precinct – others are much more flexible than they appear and could benefit from a geographically wider search. According to Global Workplace Analytics, ½  the U.S. workforce holds a position theoretically compatible with telecommuting

Opening a job search up to candidates in  multiple locations, who are willing and able to work remotely, can help SMBs alleviate the talent crunch and select from a broader pool of candidates. But remote hiring comes with its own challenges.

Distance can make the travel for on-site interviews cost-prohibitive for SMBs. Meanwhile, applicants might struggle to form a clear perception of the company’s culture if they are only interacting via the traditional communications channels of phone and email. This is where a video conferencing solution can make all the difference in connecting you with top talent.

How video conferencing software supports a modern hiring strategy

Conducting introductions and interviews over video has numerous advantages over doing them in-person. While these video conferences might not replace on-site meetings entirely, they do provide more flexibility when recruiting and interacting with candidates.

Less travel, fewer costs

A Webex meeting with high-quality video and audio can be set up between multiple participants, regardless of their respective physical locations. That saves a lot of time and money that would otherwise be spent simply trying to get everyone into the same room. SMBs in particular can struggle to keep travel expenses under control due to highly manual processes and outdated tech, so every reduction and simplification on this front helps.

All of the detail, none of the inconvenience

An online video meeting captures details such as body language and facial expressions that wouldn’t come across in other forms of communications. Moreover, with high-definition video feeds, it’s like participants are in the same room despite being far apart. Video conferencing delivers this extra clarity that is useful in evaluating applicants.

Easy meeting setup, simple participation

With Webex, starting a meeting and then participating in it is very straightforward. Attendees can join the conference from a PC, mobile device, or standards-based video conferencing system. Interviewers and applicants don’t even have to download a dedicated app, since they can view the entire meeting within a web browser. 

A closeup look at your company, plus a walkthrough of the role

Video conferencing offers a great forum to virtually showcase your business  and explain the position you’re hiring for. Candidates get to associate more than just a name with your company, plus you can give them a general sense of what your office looks like. Built-in Webex features such as screen sharing allow for even more detail, as you can walk through a presentation or conduct an assessment in real time. It all adds up to fuller context for everyone involved in the hiring process.

As you think about how to update your hiring strategy for the new reality of remote work and overcome difficulties finding the best person for each opening, video conferencing can help. Try Cisco Webex for free today to get started on the path toward more flexible hiring.

 

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How video conferencing enables cost-effective collaboration
How video conferencing enables cost-effective collaboration

Business travel is a major expense for many SMBs. Data from expense management provider Concur has revealed that average SMB employees spend more on airfare, lodging, ground transportation, dining and car rentals than their counterparts at a large enterprise organization. For some SMBs, company-related travel constitutes more than 10% of their budgets, even though it’s not a value-added activity. More money on travel means less for everything else.

There is no shortage of tips and tricks for reducing travel costs, from trying to avoid checked luggage fees to booking cheaper flights with more elaborate connections. But perhaps the most effective is to simply do less travel overall. How can SMBs make this gain without sacrificing their all-important connections with customers, partners and remote teams? Video conferencing solutions provide a great starting point for more cost-effective collaboration.

Why video conferencing is perfect for budget-conscious SMBs

Not all forms of collaboration are equally rich and immersive. For example, a salesperson sending a prospect an email pitch is usually a good way to do introductions, provide a high-level overview and list out the next steps, but it’s hardly ideal for going much deeper than that. A call followed by an in-person meeting will be likely necessary to close the deal. That requires more spending on travel – unless video conferencing can fulfill the same role.

A video conferencing platform allows for in-depth interactions over high-definition (HD) video. In addition to being able to see everyone’s reactions in real-time, the sales team can also harness the power of features such as screen sharing – either of their whole screens or just a particular app or document – or use the video stream to walk through a live product demo. These video conferences also have the benefit of being more focused than an audio-only meeting, as there’s less chance of someone multitasking while on mute.

Moreover, by investing in a video conferencing system like Webex, SMBs can eliminate potentially thousands in business travel expense per year. Almost nine in ten (87%) of respondents to a Wainhouse Research survey cited reduced travel as a benefit of video solution deployment. At the same time, video conferencing saves money in other indirect ways, too. Let’s explore some of the additional benefits of video for SMBs and how they contribute to a more manageable budget and a more productive sales cycle.

Beyond travel: Video’s impact on productivity, decision-making, and more 

With video conferencing in place, SMBs can do more than just immediately curtail their travel costs. They can also:

Improve employee productivity

Inefficient meetings are a major drain on the productivity of everyone in them, as well as a substantial opportunity cost for the company. After all, every minute spent in an unnecessary meeting is one that could have been spent on a different, more worthwhile task.

Video conferencing technology helps facilitate more effective meetings:

  • Instead of wading through a complex process just to join a conference (long PINs, downloads, etc.), attendees can simply click or tap to join a Webex conference. 
  • They don’t even have to download a dedicated app if they don’t want to or can’t do so – the entire meeting can be experienced through the browser. 
  • Clear video keeps the meeting focused and on track. Everyone can be seen and names can be put to faces, so there’s less confusion.
  • Meetings can also be easily recorded for later review by anyone who wasn’t there or who needs a refresher.

Support mobile and remote workers

Telecommuting has become more common since the early 2000s, thanks to changes in employee preferences and the emergence of technologies like smartphones and SaaS. There are risks to remote work, however. 

The State of Remote Work 2018 report from Buffer found that loneliness and collaborating/communicating were the most cited challenges by remote workers. Video conferencing can address both of these problems.

HD video and crisp audio can make it feel like teams are in the same room with each other, no matter where they are. Paired with features for screen sharing, recording, and more, a video conferencing solution also provides a comprehensive way to collaborate and communicate.

Integrate with other tools and workflows

It’s easy to configure Webex and then integrate it into your SMB’s current workflow. Integrations are available with multiple popular applications, from Salesforce and Google Calendar to Slack and Microsoft Teams.

In other words, Webex can be easily shaped to your organization’s particular requirements and workflows. Whether you plan to use it to help close more sales, provide online trainings to staff or simply host regularly scheduled meetings, Webex can fit the occasion. Learn more by starting your free trial today.  

 

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People Insights for video conferencing meetings
Build bridges between business contacts and human relationships in your video conference meetings

Keeping tabs on everyone you collaborate with can be tough, and finding the time to learn more about new clients or colleagues is even tougher. It’s easy to inadvertently let existing relationships go stale or get off on the wrong foot with someone new. Luckily there are a few different ways that People Insights for Cisco Webex makes it easy to build relationships with your contacts.

Catch up on the latest news and announcements.

Never be caught flat-footed with the most recent news articles available in People Insights profiles. Maybe your contact just received an award or spoke at a big event—here’s your chance to recognize their achievement! You’ll also find the latest news and stock price for your contact’s company, which can help you set an appropriate tone during your interactions.

Make personal connections.

With employment and education backgrounds available within People Insights, it’s easier than ever to find common ground to help you build a stronger connection. For example, if you and a new client both attended the same university or worked at the same company earlier in your careers, you’ll already have the perfect conversation starter.

Learn more about your coworkers.

Starting a project with someone from another team within your company? Their People Insights profile includes helpful information from your company’s internal directory, like their title and reporting structure, so you can quickly gain the context you need to help get things moving. This information is only visible to people within your organization.

Put your best foot forward.

Don’t forget that the people you collaborate with can view your People Insights profile, too! Take a few minutes to review and edit your profile, ensuring everything is filled out and up-to-date. Going the extra mile to include some of your current projects or special skills is a great way to stand out, and helps the people you work with get to know you better.

People Insights is available in Webex Teams and the desktop and mobile versions of Webex Meetings. Check out the People Insights adoption toolkit to get started.

Not a Webex user? Experience the future of video conferencing for yourself with a 30-day free trial.


The Webex Intelligence team develops innovative experiences by leveraging state-of-the-art machine learning, conversational AI, and information retrieval techniques. Interested in joining us? Check out our current job openings.

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how to have a web exceptional video conferencing meeting
How to have a webexceptional video conferencing meeting

Imagine living in 1866. To talk to someone, you have to meet up with them in person, or send them the letter because the telephone hasn’t been invented yet. It isn’t until one year later when Alexander Graham Bell makes the first phone call ever to his assistant Thomas Watson.

Even further, it wasn’t until 1968 before video conferencing entered the scene for the first time as the Picturephone.

Since 1968, video conferencing has advanced greatly. Living in 2019 provides many advantages to the way that we connect with our friends, our family, and our colleagues. In the work environment, we are able to collaborate more effectively than we ever have before. But hopefully you already know this because, most likely, you use video conferencing technology in your day-to-day life.

With 200 million monthly active users, you’ve probably already had some experience with Cisco Webex Meetings. But have you had exposure to some of the coolest new features?

In 1995, Webex was founded and then acquired by Cisco in 2007. Today, Cisco Webex hosts more than 500 million meetings annually, totaling ~125 billion meeting minutes every year and are continuing to grow.

The Cisco Webex Meeting software provides features that allow you to talk seamlessly, share your video at high quality, and record your meetings so people who couldn’t attend can listen in as if they were there. In addition, you can share your screen to present content, or whiteboard to collaborate in real-time. You can even meet with up to 40,000 people, if needed. And these are just the few of the many features available to you.

For this reason, we are hosting the first of a series of webinars where we will walk through the latest and greatest features Webex has put to market. We hope to cover topics that will help you and show you how you can enhance your meeting experience even more!

This webinar specifically covers:

  • People Insights for Webex (getting to know the people you’re meeting with before the first introduction)
  • Integrating Webex devices with Webex Meetings
  • High-frame rate content sharing
  • Webex integrations with Google, Apple, and Microsoft
  • Video centric and transcribed recordings

Re-watch the webinar as Maureen Vild gives a demo of these features: here.

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video conferencing
Webex video conferencing earns PCMag Editor’s Choice Award

PCMag is an industry leading online technology guide. They test and review products from monitors to video conferencing technology to headsets, and everything in between.

Looking at pricing, packaging, user experience, and access to help (if needed), the PCMag Editor’s Choice selection is awarded to the products their team has picked as the best after testing and comparing with others in that same technology category.

In late July, PCMag published a product review article rating Cisco’s video conference offering, Webex Meetings, as excellent and selected it as Editor’s Choice.

We take pride in offering various plans so our customers get a simple, high-quality solution, perfect for their business needs.

Here are 3 highlights from the PCMag article we are excited to call-out:

1. Cisco Webex Meetings has a robust offering for everyone, from SMB (small to midsize business) to large enterprise.

“[At] $13.50/month for the Webex Meetings Starter plan, this solution is probably the most broadly applicable and best-suited for small to midsize business (SMB) customers.” – PC Mag

Choose the right plan for your business. Whether you want to meet with two people or thousands, there’s a Webex product for you. The plans we offer include our Free plan, Starter plan, Plus plan, Business plan, and Enterprise plan. This range ensures that we have your business covered, no matter how big or small, with the ability to scale as your business grows. In addition, if you’re trying out our video conferencing solution for the first time, we offer a 30-day free trial that gives you unlimited access to high-definition video conferencing meetings with up to 200 participants and a personal meeting room.

These plans are all available for purchase on webex.com.

2. With all plans, you get HD video, screen sharing, application sharing, cloud recording and storage, and many other features.

“If you’re looking for a screen-sharing and video conferencing service to go along with your existing dial-in conference service, thenCisco WebEx Meetings is a good choice.”- PC Mag

“This Editor’s Choice service is easy to use and includes some features you won’t find in other video conferencing services, including the ability to have the meeting call you rather than you dialing in.” -PC Mag

This means that you get reliable high-definition video with up to 720p, with different options for video viewing. With the screen sharing feature, you can share your whole screen or just an application of your choice, keeping the rest of your screen private. And with recording and storage, you can record and store meetings in the Webex cloud. Available both in video (MP4) and audio formats (M4A). It’s easy to use

Check out the other account management, mobile, integration, and security features here.

3. It’s easy to buy and get up and running quickly.

“Sign-up is as easy as filling in your contact information, creating a password, and opting in or out of email notifications from Cisco WebEx Meetings.” -PC Mag

All you have to do is select “Buy Now” for the plan of your choosing, select your payment plan and number of host licenses, and select any add-on features you’d like. Your subtotal will appear and all you do is click continue. You create your account, enter your billing information, and purchase. You can be using Webex Meetings within minutes of purchase. And, if you need help, every paid Webex account comes with 24×7 technical support.

“The Cisco Webex Meetings UI is easy to use, and the company has done a lot to bring the price down. Therefore, it’s worth taking advantage of the free trial to see if it works for you.” -PCMag

Check out PCMag’s review article for comparisons to other video conferencing solutions in the market. Get started with your Webex Meetings free trial today.

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building connections through video conferencing
Build personal connections faster in your video conferencing meetings

Ever wish there were someone on your team constantly working in the background to make your meetings run more smoothly? So did we. Meet People Insights.

Our intelligent data platform continuously scours the web for new information, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to create rich profiles for more than 300 million people and 26 million companies (and counting!), making video conferencing easier and more connected than ever before. With comprehensive, up-to-date intel available right inside of Cisco Webex, now you can always be in the know.

Get up to speed in one click.

Collaborating with someone new, but don’t have time to prep? People Insights serves up the latest information on your contacts including bios and recent news, professional history, and key company info. With big announcements, public company earnings, and more right at your fingertips, you can easily find a quick icebreaker or build a better connection.

Quickly access your internal directory.

At big companies, sometimes even meetings with coworkers can feel overwhelming—especially without the right context. Within your coworkers’ People Insights profiles you’ll find internal directory information like their title, contact info, and reporting structure.

Review and edit your profile.

You know yourself best, and with People Insights you have control over your profile’s content. If you’re a Webex account holder, visit people.webex.com anytime to create or update your profile. You can even hide sections of your profile, or hide everything if you’d prefer to keep your information private.

 

People Insights is now available for Cisco Webex Teams and the desktop and mobile versions of Cisco Webex Meetings. Check out the People Insights adoption toolkit to get started.

To learn more about People Insights read the white paper, People Insights: Creating a Human Collaboration Experience.

 


The Webex Intelligence team develops innovative experiences by leveraging state-of-the-art machine learning, conversational AI, and information retrieval techniques. Interested in joining us? Check out our current job openings.

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team collaboration
Give everyone the best experiences as they collaborate across the globe, with Cisco team collaboration

Today, people work from where they can. Work is no longer happening only within the four walls of a single building. In fact, 65% of full-time employees think remote work increases productivity. And this is validated by two-thirds of managers.

In addition, work no longer just happens within a single company. More than 55% of business leaders are extending collaboration to external parties. This means that there is an increase in collaboration between companies, and between people in different locations.

Of course, people expect team collaboration to be seamless.  Who wants to spend time working out how to work with someone else depending on their location? In order for people to be able to be as productive as possible, collaboration tools need to be easy to use, and offer great user experiences.  They need to enable people to work with others, wherever they are, at any time – that’s a given.

However, at the same time, privacy, security and compliance are a key consideration when selecting a team collaboration solution.  And as more people work with others inside and outside their company, and increasingly with more people in different locations, these considerations extend to where important information is located.   This study shows that keeping data in-region is now a key consideration.

We understand these needs – privacy, security and compliance are a key factor in Webex solution design. As a truly global service, our Webex Meetings service has a globally distributed architecture, and there are many ways in which Webex helps customers work with the solutions that they have in place, which is key to keeping data in-region.

Security and privacy 

As a global service provider, we understand that our customers require their data to be handled securely, with privacy and resiliency. They look to us to solve these problems:

  • Keep my data local to my region, for reasons of privacy and regulatory compliance.
  • Don’t make my users’ apps hop across oceans to connect to your services – reduce latency
  • Ensure service availability
  • Allow my users to collaborate with anyone, from any company, why they need to – because collaboration is the fuel that drives innovation and productivity.
  • Let me keep an eye on the exchange of information by my users both inside my company and with external people, so I can enforce company policies without stifling productivity and innovation.

The next logical step for us is to introduce new European data centers for Webex Teams itself, to hold personal information and encryption keys for team collaboration.  These data centers are located in London, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, and are in addition to our US data centers and provide in-region storage of our customers’ Personal Identifiable Information (PII) data and encryption keys used to encrypt user generated content.

Keeping key information in-region without compromising global team collaboration

What does this mean for you and your users?  Well – the answer is that your users get the same great collaboration experience they are used to, while keeping important information in-region.  Cisco Webex achieves data locality without compromising on the promise of a global collaboration platform.

team collaboration

What are the potential issues with global collaboration?

Most cloud solutions drive businesses through instance-based workloads, requiring users to sign-in to specific logically separated instances of a service. These cloud services may be multi-tenant, so this approach provides a sense of separation of customer data, although it is not truly a physical separation.

This model introduces cumbersome administrative overhead.  It allows cross-organization communications through guest accounts – which essentially replicates a user’s PII in two different logical locations for performant reasons.

Managing such guest accounts is akin to having multiple phones for each company you work with.

In this scenario, the compliance officers of a guest user have no visibility into these communications – leaving a large gap for compliance, eDiscovery and legal requirements. This results in Information Security overseers and CIOs resisting introducing solutions that enable external communication. The effect of this can be to inadvertently encourage other “non-approved” apps for external communications and collaboration, due to business needs.

How does Cisco Webex Teams resolve the issues?

In Cisco Webex Teams, there is a single identity, a single conversation thread, and a single place for all users’ collaboration messages, whiteboard drawings and file sharing. Webex Teams has unique ownership rules for users as they collaborate. And we enable clear visibility to all organizations for multi-organization communications.

Like other cloud service providers, Webex Teams is multi-tenant; but it also allows for co-mingling. Co-mingling allows messages from users from different companies to be associated with a project space. With Webex Teams, compliance managers from each company have visibility of those messages and have the option to control aspects such as:

  1. Prevent co-mingling, if you want to.
  2. Enable visibility, if you choose to allow co-mingling.
  3. Take action, in case of data leaks.
  4. Hold encryption keys on-premises. Note that Webex Teams provides end-to-end encryption of all user-generated content, whether or not you require this level of control.

How does this model work with global data centers?

As we introduce physically separate data centers with multiple instances of services, how do we meet the needs of global seamless, simple and intuitive collaboration?

Our design leverages the concept of federation to make this happen.

What is Federation?

Federation is a complex capability for services to be able to discover each other, trust each other, communicate information to each other in order to support seamless workloads from the clients. This has to be done without compromising the service’s own integrity and availability in case the other service is no longer available for any reason.

With the European data center, we have the following globally federated services:

  1. Identity services – single user, single organization, single search. No duplication of PII.
  2. Authentication services – SAML and OAuth 2.0 standards based global authentication and authorization services.
  3. Encryption keys – locally stored keys, globally available as needed through secure channels.

Our future phases will introduce locally stored messages, files, whiteboards (all always encrypted) with global access (only if authorized by the customer).

And what you, the Customer, gains..

Through all of the above semi-technical jargon, what do you stand to gain when you use Cisco Webex Teams?

  1. Your data is stored in your regional data center– you meet regulatory and privacy needs.
  2. Your users have faster connection times to the collaboration tools you provide them – because clients connect to the data centers closest to them.
  3. You are assured of improved service availability through service isolation – an outage of a data center in another part of the world should not impact your users.
  4. You do not have to stifle productivity and collaboration because Cisco Webex supports your need for access and collaborate with anyone, anywhere, any device.
  5. You are assured of enterprise grade security in your user generated content (messages, files, boards) with end to end encryption and keys now stored in your region.
  6. You are assured of 100% visibility on the information exchange amongst your users, even when they communicate with external users and across any data center – the global search and compliance capabilities ensure eDiscovery continues to work as expected even if your users’ are collaborating with users from remote data centers
  7. You can enforce your compliance policies, in case your users inadvertently get out of compliance and share sensitive data with others. Due to the ownership rules and the global nature of our services and CASB integrations, you can continue to enforce DLP policies even if the content is stored in remote data centers

Please also review the blog – Three things to consider for safe and secure team collaboration for more insights on that topic.

Visit our booth at Cisco Live US to learn more about all the latest Webex innovations, and speak to our experts about how we can help you achieve more.


Check out Webex Meetings or Webex Teams for free:

https://www.webex.com/pricing/free-trial.html

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Cisco Named a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions 2018 -2
Cisco Named a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions 2018

Cisco was again named in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions 2018. The report evaluates meeting solutions from multiple vendors in the market. Cisco products placed highest in the ability to execute and in completeness of vision.

Gartner’s assessment is important as it can help you evaluate vendors with the best meeting options. And Gartner’s insight aligns with what we see in our customer activity:

– More people use video conferencing solution, Webex Meetings than all other vendors combined. Same with our video devices.*

– Cisco Webex Meetings hosts more than 6 billion meeting minutes every month.

– Cisco holds the #1 market share position for on-premises meeting solutions.*

Head over to our Cisco Collaboration blog to hear Sri Srinivasan, VP/GM for the Team Collaboration Group at Cisco, outline the three strengths Gartner calls out in this year’s report.** Read more now.

 

* Synergy Research, May 2018: Telepresence worldwide infrastructure.
** Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions 2018 by Mike Fasciani, Adam Preset, Tom Eagle, September 2018.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
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Meet the New Webex Meetings Desktop Experience
Meet the new video conferencing desktop experience

Wondering what’s new in the world of Webex Meetings? We’ve got a lot coming up that we’re excited to share with you. Namely, a brand-new desktop experience for Webex Meetings that’s designed to make your video conferencing meetings even easier.

We have a new desktop app slated to roll out, which will replace Webex Meetings Productivity Tools. It will offer an even better experience designed to deliver simpler, more modern video meetings. Watch our short video to see the new experience:

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Managing a remote team over the summer

Summertime is here once again and like you, we’re all in the mood for pool dips, ice cream, and barbeques. But as the saying goes, “the show must go on,” which means taking care of work responsibilities.

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4 ways UCC tools empower sales teams
4 ways video conferencing can empower your sales team

Sales is a highly competitive space. Professionals in the field have reputations as road warriors, who log many hours each month traveling to meet with prospects in hopes of securing their business. These face-to-face meetings are uniquely valuable, since they help create close connections that go beyond what’s possible with a call, email, or text.

At the same time, they can eat into sales teams’ schedules and become major cost centers for the organization, too. A Pace Productivity survey found that travel accounted for 6.6 hours per week, or more than 13 percent of the typical sales professional’s time. Plus, travel—along with various administrative tasks—was found to take up too much time compared to an ideal working arrangement.

The effects of costly, overloaded travel schedules are significant. According to Bain & Co., account managers only spend one-third of their time meeting with customers, and 40 percent of that is actually dedicated to lower-priority accounts. Something is getting lost in the nonstop race to quarter’s end, with many minutes wasted on the road or in unproductive meetings.

Unified collaboration tools: A better way to make your minutes matter

Since engaging qualified leads regularly requires multiple touches—between seven and 13, according to the Data & Marketing Association—the process should be streamlined and economical. Enter unified communication and collaboration (UCC) platforms.

UCC solutions like Cisco Webex allow your teams to hold productive conversations, no matter where they are. They’re real, viable alternatives to the traditional road tripping  grind, and they empower sales professionals in many ways, including:

1. More high-quality interactions, less travel

In sales, the main purpose of traveling is to meet leads in person. Such meetups are still frequently necessary, but they’re not the only ways to have high-quality interactions anymore, thanks to crystal-clear video conferencing services.

Webex Meetings allows you to meet your customers wherever they are with just a click or tap, or have them call you at their convenience. HD video quality with intuitive screen layouts ensures you can measure reactions in real time, while keeping the meeting as focused as possible. Overall, there’s much more freedom to nurture sales relationships from the office or while on the go, without having to make a separate visit.

2. Meetings that leave an impression

In a Wainhouse Research survey of 4,700 users of video conferencing services, the top four cited benefits were increased productivity (94 percent of respondents), better discussions (88 percent), faster decision-making (87 percent), and reduced travel (also 87 percent). Connecting with prospects over video isn’t just a way to take fewer flights or road trips—it’s often the best option for extracting value from a conversation.

A unified collaboration suite delivers engaging, hassle-free virtual meetings that can also be enhanced with chat and screen sharing. As a result, presentations and product demos are informative and easy to follow. That leads to sales cycles that close as quickly as possible and don’t break the budget with lots of follow-up travel and attempts at engagement.

3. A truly collaborative sales process

Sealing a sales deal is rarely the work of just one person. Entire teams help lay the groundwork by reaching out to the potential customer and providing assurances. With a unified collaboration solution, you can bring everyone together for a coordinated approach to every prospect.

Webex Teams makes it simple to invite the sales team to a shared workspace. A dedicated space can even be set up as a hub for communications with customers, from which you can share files with them and review previous conversations so nothing gets overlooked. It’s easier than ever to provide updates on deals and connect leads with experts on your side.

4. An integrated sales collaboration experience

Sales is a multichannel process, requiring a wide array of tools beyond UCC. Team members will routinely need to hop on calls, update documents, and track individual contacts in a customer relationship management (CRM) platform.

Being committed to your collaboration success means knocking down barriers to connecting. Cisco Webex supports many integrations with essential sales apps. For example, you can integrate Webex with Salesforce to easily connect with your team using secure messaging, file sharing, and video calling.

Empower your sales teams to improve lead conversion rates and optimize customer retention rates with the best unified collaboration experience available. Take Webex for a test run in your sales environment. Start your Webex free trial.

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The buyers guide to collaboration software
The buyer’s guide to collaboration software

Selecting collaboration software for your organization can feel overwhelming, with a bunch of spec sheets to pore over and budgetary constraints to keep in mind throughout the process. When picking between these options, the best route is usually to evaluate each one holistically.

Why the holistic approach is the best way to buy collaboration software

That means looking beyond how the solutions compare on functionality alone. You’ll also want to scrutinize these five characteristics:

  1. Usability: Is there a steep learning curve? How easy will it be for team members to buy into a completely new collaboration suite?
  2. Pricing: Is a free trial available? Will I be billed annually or monthly? How flexible are the plans?
  3. Ecosystem: Can the platform in question be paired with the tools you already rely on, or will you have to craft complicated new workflows?
  4. Security: How is data encryption implemented? What access controls are available to administrators to manage access to meetings?
  5. Hosting: Are they situated on-premises or in the cloud? What support services and quality assurance measures can customers expect from the provider?
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Does video conferencing appear differently from platform to platform?
Does video conferencing appear differently from platform to platform?

In a memorable scene from Silicon Valley, two characters try communicating through a futuristic video conferencing platform that displays one of them as a hologram. Initially confused by the technology, the other character asks, “Am I hologram to you too?” This prompts a brief silence before the first character replies “No, of course not.”

It was a good question, though. Exactly what any given person will see and hear during a video call depends on multiple factors, including:

– The strength of the current internet connection.

– The UI and UX of the application in question.

– Whether that app is being accessed from a mobile device or desktop.

For example, due to differing conditions, a stream that looks crystal-clear to one person might seem choppy to another. To ensure the best possible experience with video conferencing platforms, decision-makers should ask a few key questions when evaluating potential solutions:

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Four Key Security features of web conferencing
Four key security features of Cisco web conferencing

Secure web conferencing is the gold standard for modern collaboration. It backs the unique experience of lifelike video and HD audio with essential measures that protect communications from prying eyes.

The stakes are high for ensuring safe web conferences because sensitive data is routinely exchanged in these virtual meetings. A Forrester Research report estimated one-fifth of web conferences involved trade secrets and that even more of them featured financial information disclosures and details of marketing plans.

What does a truly secure web conferencing platform look like? It combines multi-layered physical, application, and platform security into a solution that’s still easy to use, allowing you to focus your limited time and energy on meetings instead of containing risks.

There are many Cisco Webex security features that make your life easier. In this post, we’ll focus on four that deliver a safer web conferencing experience.

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How teleconferencing and video conferencing solutions stack up

It’s common to group teleconferencing and video conferencing solutions together, or even to treat the two as interchangeable. While today’s organizations regularly use them for similar purposes (e.g., scaling to multiple remote and branch offices, and reaching teams regardless of individual locations), these solutions are not identical.

Teleconferencing is the more general term. It can encompass almost any meeting in which the participants are not all in the same physical room, although it often denotes a voice-only call. In contrast, video conferencing is more specific, typically referring to converged platforms such as Cisco Webex Meetings, which contain features supporting unlimited voice and video meetings.

To better separate the two, let’s look at the distinctive advantages and disadvantages of each one:

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video conferencing at work
Holding off online meeting madness (for March and beyond)

If my alma mater Villanova is a testament to anything, it is my love of college basketball. So naturally, when March rolls around, I’m completely psyched to be in front of the TV watching elite teams – and a few Cinderella contenders – battle it out on the court. However, as much as I love on-court action, if I’m not careful with my time, something I like to call “online meeting madness” can take hold.

Thankfully, I’m pretty savvy at using Webex tools to coordinate priorities so I can still cheer on my team and accomplish my work goals. Here are a few Webex playbook strategies you can use as a guide to do the same.

First Quarter – Use video conferencing tools to put your team together

Whether you’re in pursuit of an on-court victory or a business win, the right team mix makes all of the difference.

When colleges scout new players, they visit a vast amount of schools to discover talent that aligns with their team’s needs. When the time comes to recruit new talent for your work team, use Webex’s video conferencing tools to connect with remote work candidates around the world with an abundance of diverse backgrounds that enrich your team. All without the hassles of travel.

Second Quarter – Make a game plan with screen sharing

In basketball, you don’t make it to the championship without a game plan. And for a successful meeting to happen, everyone must be able to share in the game plan for whatever wins you’re after.

WebEx’s screen sharing provides everyone on your team an opportunity to share resources and keep up with what’s going on, all in real-time. Which is especially important if any parts of your game plan changes and there’s no time to chase down files, for example.  The white-boarding feature is also definitely handy for sketching out big plays or ideas as well.

Third Quarter – Gain speed and agility

When projects are on strict deadlines or when team members are working outside of the office, Webex provides the competitive and flexible work options.

If you need to hit the ground running with a brainstorm or when need to bring everyone together for a must-attend meeting, the WebEx WebApp instantly allows access to a video conference via web browser no matter where you are, giving your team some maneuverability to aim for success before that final business buzzer hits.

Fourth Quarter – Workin’ the court

Now that you know a bit more about the mobile meeting tools available to you, it’s up to you and your team to execute and get in the game and strategically use them to foster growth and engagement for your business.

So how do you use technology to balance out work obligations and your personal time? Share what works for you, with the hashtag #DefeatMeetingMadness.


Webex, the leader in video conferencing. Start a free trial today.

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Using video conferencing technology to unite your community and promote your cause

This post was contributed by Patty Medberry, Senior Manager, Collaboration Solutions Marketing at Cisco Systems

International Women’s Day (IWD) is nothing short of a global movement. As a woman working in technology, I’m proud to work for a company that values the contributions, perspectives and leadership capabilities that women bring to our industry and one that listens to and understands the importance of diverse voices.

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Claiming our seat at the table: One woman’s story of business empowerment

Guest post by Janine Kurnoff, founder of The Presentation Company.

As of January of this year, there are an estimated 11.6 million women-owned businesses just in the United States alone. This is an impressive stat, given recent discussions on women in the workplace, our roles and how we support one another. In light of this and being a member of this “girl power” collective of business owners, I wanted to share my story to perhaps inspire another woman who has a desire to fearlessly pursue her business dreams.

From Flying Solo to Soaring Together…

I’ve always had a passion and a knack for helping people tell their stories, which led me to form The Presentation Company in 2001. When I joined the ranks of millions of women entrepreneurs, I was a one-woman show focused on presentation consulting.  But even then, I knew flying solo would only get me so far. Thankfully, six months in, my sister (and now business partner) Lee joined me, bringing her amazing market research and branding skills with her. And we haven’t looked back since.

People tend to be a bit amazed that Lee and I are not only sisters, but successful female entrepreneurs who make things work at work. And though we like to joke that we’re “twins” and have been known to tap into a telepathic “sister” thing, the reality is that finding a partner who shares your passion, is trustworthy, has your back and one who can represent you is the foundation of a successful brand. We have and never will get bogged down with stereotypes about women not being able to work together. Rather, we believe women can soar with another entrepreneur whose goals are as lofty as their own.

Cheerleaders Aren’t Just for a Big Game…

There is something to be said about having a team of “cheerleaders” in your corner. For me, those cheerleaders were my mom and dad.

Our parents immigrated from England, with two young girls in tow, arriving in 1978 at San Francisco’s Pier 35. I often think about what a risk it was for them to leave the familiar to go after their American dreams. Early on, my dad told me “find your passion and the money will follow.” And my mom always encouraged me to believe that I deserved to “have a seat at the table.” Together Lee and I found that passion and confidence. It came in the form of helping talented people tell authentic business stories.

We embraced, honed and followed this vision and our parents were our earliest – and most enthusiastic – cheering force. And their belief in us pushed our belief in ourselves.

Whoever encourages their dreams in the face of the seemingly impossible – these are the people I advise women to surround themselves with to help keep their entrepreneurial fires burning.

 

Because Mentorship Matters…

As business founders, Lee and I both feel honored to be in our roles. We take pride in empowering the talented women (and men!) on our team. Why? Because the same passion for our work and desire to help brands tell their most authentic stories in the most meaningful way – we see that in them. We’ve witnessed team members blossom before us as we pour into them, growing confident enough to own rooms and command audiences. It’s in these small ways that we mentor and influence other women.

And that doesn’t stop, no matter what professional heights you reach. In many ways, my sister is my mentor; indirectly, we’ve done that for each other. And we are constantly learning from the host of compelling women we meet. For a woman to surround herself with other powerfully productive women in the workplace, it’s empowering and encouraging.

As women, we must believe that we have every right to succeed and not downplay, our talents, abilities and accomplishments. We have to communicate who we are and define our own paths with a clear vision. And because I have daughters, I believe we have to share our stories and show other women and young girls not to “fake it until they make it.” But rather, “fake it until they become it” as Amy Cuddy says. Because they, and all of us, deserve seats at the professional tables of their choice.

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4 Delivery Tips that all WebEx Stars Know

Thanks to part one of The Presentation Company’s Masterful WebEx Presentation Series, you’ve chosen the perfect WebEx tools to engage your audience, have built the ultimate slide deck for your virtual audience and have planned for the size of your audience.  Now that the pre-presentation planning is out of the way and presentation day is here – what’s next?

In 4 Delivery Tips That All WebEx Stars Know, The Presentation Company’s second installment of the three-part Masterful WebEx Presentation walks you through the do’s and don’ts of sharing your presentation.

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Mastering the Mobile Workplace

Mobility has empowered millions of employees, freeing them from desktops and landlines to conduct business as usual while on the go. As a matter of fact, through 2019, it’s estimated that there will be 11.5 billion mobile-connected devices connected to the Internet of Everything.

As the “mobile office” concept continues to evolve, conducting meetings on the move has become necessary – but not without challenges. However, with the right collaboration tools and a bit of planning, anyone can master the mobile meeting.

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Better Online Meetings for SMB

It’s easy to think of IT departments as a dedicated crew of folks sitting in a room unlocking passwords, restoring Internet access and implementing all of the tools that keep a business connected. But for many Small or Medium Businesses (SMBs), the responsibility of choosing and implementing the right technology solutions often falls on business leaders.

When it comes to web-conferencing, selecting the right solutions is even more crucial for these businesses. Having a high-quality, reliable online meeting experience can go a long way in helping SMB leaders juggle the many hats they wear.

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Fall Hiring Season Perfect Opportunity for Innovative Web Conference Training

Though most of the country is still experiencing summer’s last surge of scorching temps, fall’s arrival is coming fast. Already one of my favorite seasons with the cooler temps and pumpkin-spice everything it brings, fall also ushers in one of the busiest hiring seasons of the year.

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Infographic: 87% of remote workers feel more connected to their team with video conferencing

There’s no denying it: travel is expensive. U.S. businesses will spend an estimated $310 billion on travel this year.

How can you work more efficiently with clients and colleagues while you’re on the road? Video conferencing enables you to assemble a worldwide group in one place, collaborating on a common goal. In addition, 87% of remote workers feel more connected to their team with video conferencing.

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